I am running out of titles. The more I think about Blizzard's 'new' RMT solution, the more fascinated I am.
Just a few moments ago I found myself thinking:
"Imagine you find this Pet-Of-Überness while you play hardcore mode. Wouldn't it suck to not be able to sell it?"
Remember, I usually hate RMT in games. And still, the idea that you can actually make money by skillful and serious playing is fascinating me. Even though I hate myself for it.
We all consider ourselves skillful and serious players - otherwise we wouldn't read/write MMO blogs. Actually, most of us probably are skilled, because to become skilled in games you mostly need to be motivated and invest a lot of time. And that's what those who read/write gaming blogs do.
But my point is: if even I think along these lines, imagine the average guy ..
I have a feeling (fear) that Diablo 3 is going to be the next business-defining game made by Blizzard. Respect.
Forget the old microtransactions. The new system is light-years better for making money. In the past, many players had problems justifying the time they spent in games. Especially if they were married. But now, suddenly, they can make a bit of money while playing, while the single upper-middleclass guy can finally spend all that money that he can't get rid of during his 50-hours work-week.
Didn't it suck in the past that you earned so much money working your day job and couldn't benefit from it in your daily hobby? If Diablo 3 is a Blizzard quality game with this kind of RMT, it will hit like a bomb, I think.
The traditional microtransactions felt too much like an outside intrusion. The money-making scam that selling virtual items is, left too much of a bad taste in most peoples' mouth. Buying virtual items felt wasteful and was only going to make the company rich although creating the virtual item doesn't cost anything.
But the D3 RMT feels not so much like a scam. The $-AH just redistributes the items that have been found in the game. And that small fee Blizzard wants feels totally ok.
And items are never overpriced - by definition. You are just stupid if you let other players fool you. No way to blame Blizzard.
And it's more than just a game. If you never buy anything, you will be able to earn a bit of money. And rather consistently! That's more than just a game. It is some hobby that can make you money (even if you end up paying more than you earn - the feeling matters).
In the past we were addicted to advancing our characters - finding that one über-cool item. In the future we will be addicted to advancing our finances. This is the oldest business in the world. And it works so damn well that it is heavily regulated nowadays - even in unlikely places like the U.S. !
The possibility to earn money (even if it's just a theoretical possibility) is a game changer, literally!
Unfortunately, Blizzard shares are listed in dollars. What do I want with dollars ?